Guards Are Not Needed

Guards Are Not Needed

Many parishioners and visitors to St. Isabel Church have been surprised to find black-shirted and flak-jacketed guards patrolling the parish grounds, in the vestibule before Mass, and prohibiting individuals from entering the church parking lot or visiting the church.  These extreme security measures imposed on the parish by Bishop Frank Dewane are indeed puzzling.  They should stop!

Bishop Dewane has been informed that it appears to many that he and Mrs. Khristy M. Scheer, parish business manager, have conspired in developing an agenda that promotes priest, alcohol, financial, sacramental, verbal, gender, and elder abuse.  Over the last three years, many letters have been written to Bishop Dewane, to other church authorities, to newspapers, and to the Parishioners for Justice web site pointing out these problems.  However, it is only since early December that the heightened 24/7 security at St. Isabel has been implemented. The guards have brusquely, and at times in bullying tones, ensured that the grounds of the parish be vacated with some people only wishing to pray being banned from the premises.  In my opinion this is a bit extreme.  Although Mrs. Scheer’s honesty has been questioned by many, her outbursts of temper have been shocking, and her disdain for parishioners is well-recognized, I do not believe that anyone feels she is a physical threat.  Of course, when Fr. Gates was assigned to St. Isabel, he and Mrs. Scheer were a physical threat to parishioners because of their cavorting and impaired driving on church grounds.  At that time, security beyond that provided by the Sanibel Police Department to protect the people, even though the police arrested Fr. Gates, may have been appropriate.  Now that Fr. Gates has been promoted and sent north, perhaps additional security at his new church would be needed; but St. Isabel Church is much safer.  I think the well-being of parishioners and visitors to St. Isabel is of the utmost importance, but the use of aggressive guards to protect them from Mrs. Scheer is over the top.  If Bishop Dewane really thinks that Mrs. Scheer is such a grave threat to those who come to St. Isabel Church, it would seem to be more prudent for him to simply terminate her employment and issue her a “do-not-trespass” warrant.  Besides providing protection from Mrs. Scheer, this would also allow the funds being dissipated on security to be redirected to charitable causes.

During this Christmas season, we admire the virtue of St. Joseph who took courageous action to provide for the safety of his family in the face of genuine threats.  May Bishop Dewane draw inspriration from this model.  May we rejoice in the peaceful community that is Sanibel Island.

William G. Gray

4 thoughts on “Guards Are Not Needed”

  1. It seems that Bishop Dewane has allowed the situation at St. Isables to take a turn no one could have seen. The true leadership and security was taken away when Bishop Dewane abruptly removed Our Pastor Fr. Christopher Senk ! The dark clouds moved in and have gotten darker with lies and manuvers. The worst picture in the world of terror are men dressed in black patroling, guarding and threatening. Beautiful SANIBEL ISLAND is the LAST PLACE this should happen at any CHURCH.
    If one was to picture ‘left extremist take over ‘it would begin with NO FREE SPEACH, NO DIALOGUE,NO CHURCHES AS SAFE PLACES, WITH CAMARAS EVERYWHERE AND ONE MAD MAN RULLING.
    THIS CHRISTMAS in prayerful reflection St. Isabel’s and the Diocese of Venice is a sad reminder of those who had POWER when CHRIST WAS BORN .
    May the BLESSINGS OF PEACE AND HOPE continue to give strength to those oppressed.


  2. We have never had or needed guards !We have always been an open ,and welcoming and loving. Parish to everyone !Why has the leadership wanted to change ???I pray the Lord will help us!!!🙏🙏‼️‼️🙏


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s